Let it not be said that Coupfourpointfive is all dull preaching. We can do mirth as well.
The following letter touches on some of the big issues .... loyal citizens, regional collegiality, journalism of hope and, yes, Al Qaeda and threats against the state. It's being doing the rounds, gathering fans as it goes.
And with the easy millions of the Fiji Reserve Bank heading to the government coffers this week, this Bainimarama cartoon deserves another outing. Keep the faith, people!
Once again I come to ask for your forgiveness and your blessing. The problem is once again my small five-year-old son, Osama.
Recently he met a New Zealand boy of his own age called Alex. We call him Al, for short. He is a nice boy but we have faced problems because he is a New Zealander and because of his name.
Al and Osama were playing together when Osama said that he was hungry. He called out to his friend,
“We need to eat. Come on Al, we’ll get some kai, we need food.”
Unfortunately for him and little Osama, one of your soldiers was standing near the two boys. He had been hoping to hear of the latest New Zealand plans to attack Fiji with weapons of mass democracy. At the same time the soldier was fondling himself and talking on a cell phone to his girl friend in the Middle East so he only heard the words Al and then Kai. Mistakenly, he thought he heard the words Al Qaida.
This soldier panicked and phoned the Attorney General Aiyaz Sayed-Khaiyum, to tell him that Al Qaida terrorists were in Suva.
Aiyaz Sayed-Khaiyum was concerned. He immediately prepared a short clear media release, saying it was possible that Al Qaida had infiltrated Fiji, but then it was possible they had not, but if they were, it could be Australia and New Zealand who were behind it, but then he could not be sure of this, but if they were not, then the opposite was true, that there was a possibility that he was right in his thinking, but he was sure that neither New Zealand or Australia had any right to interfere with Fiji or to even contemplate their impending hostile actions to infringe the democratic rights of Fiji citizens. He advised the embassy staff of both countries to desist immediately what they were doing to destabilize Fiji or face immediate deportation without any reasons being given.
Officer L. read the media release, cleared it for clarity of language and faxed it to the army media checkers at Fiji Times. One of them read it and phoned up officer D. of the military intelligence unit who said he already knew of the threat and that he was standing outside McDonald’s restaurant in Suva watching the two boys inside planning a terrorist attack and also eating Big Mac hamburgers.
While officer D. was on the phone, a young reporter graduate from the University of the South Pacific newspaper overheard the conversation about terrorism. She asked if she could go to the restaurant and see if there was a story for publication.
She was told by an army officer said that there was no need to go to the restaurant. He advised her to immediately get to work and write the story. The reporter said she was unsure of all the facts of the story. This immediately brought a rebuke that it was reporters like her who brought the media into disrepute, that she should be ashamed to admit that she did not know all the facts and she was going to be reported to officer L. for failing to ascertain facts.
At that moment a large air-conditioned car stopped outside the newspaper office. A senior judge and a colonel got out. The judge remarked in a most cultured voice that is was difficult to work in Suva except in air conditioned surroundings, and that everyone in the country including the poor should have air conditioning at home and work, to improve their work efficiency.
The judge entered the editing room of the Fiji Times and called attention by whacking the tea ladies behind with his leather cane. During the silence that followed he informed the reporters that he was there in his capacity as a judge to ensure the impartiality of all news, which he said lacked usually lacked impartiality.
As he was being informed about what was happening at McDonalds restaurant he scratched his head and a cloud of dandruff fell to the floor. The distraught tea lady thought it was smoke from a fire and ran from the room shouting… Isa… Isa. In the corridor she tripped over a sleeping soldier. He woke up, grabbed his gun and rushed into the newsroom with a war cry cursing Australian and New Zealand travel restrictions
The judge was panic stricken at being faced by a soldier with a gun, and unfortunately scratched his head again. Much more dandruff fell to the floor making it difficult for anybody in the room to see anybody else.
Someone shouted … smoke, smoke. The army officer who was outside McDonalds restaurant talking on the telephone to the newsroom heard the word smoke and immediately thought smoke…fire… I must do something.
He phoned the army commander at barracks to say Al Qaida terrorists were attacking the Fiji Times newsroom. Within three minutes from the phone call huge army trucks carrying dozens of army personnel with weapons were moving quickly towards the Fiji Times newsroom.
Osama and Al were still eating their hamburgers when they heard the military trucks moving down the road. Osama wanted to see the trucks and rushed outside. He shouted to Al to leave his kai and come outside. The army officer only heard the words Al and kai and made a wrong mental connection.
With the words Al Qaida ringing in his ears, officer D., who had worked in the Middle East shouted an order. Soldiers fired their rifles at the McDonalds restaurant. The result was as you can imagine. Holes appeared in the windows of the restaurant and also in the numerous hamburgers that were being prepared.
But there was an even worse problem to follow. My small son Osama, rushed out in front of the trucks. He was squashed flat, but survived without injury.
My present problem is now, that Osama, who was a short fat little boy is now long and skinny as a result of being flattened by the big army trucks. He was taken to the hospital for a check up and left there by your kind soldiers. The doctor decided to keep him there overnight, but he is now so tall that he occupied all the space in Wards One,Two, Three, Four and Five and so was soon sent home.
My request is a humble one. I have no work and no income. Osama is now tall enough to be mistaken for a grown man. He can go to work and earn money for my wife and myself.
Would you please enlist him in the army?